Navy reacts to report of Absurdities in Admiralty University

Nigerian Navy has issued a rebuttal stating that there is no absurdities in the processes adopted by it in nurturing Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN) into a public University.

The processes are ongoing and it involved key Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the Nigerian Navy said.

In the rebuttal issued on Saturday, Naval spokesman Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan said that the call by the writer of a report titled ” Absurdities at Admiralty University” published in a national daily “for intervention of the Secretary to Government of the Federation to advice President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to appoint a Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar and University Librarian for ADUN is therefore arbitrary and outside the provisions of the ADUN Law 2022.”

The rebuttal read as follows:

  1. The attention of the Nigerian Navy (NN) has been drawn to a misleading news publication of 28th June, 2023 titled “Absurdities in Admiralty University”. Ordinarily, it would have been ignored since it is the handiwork of mischief makers whose crave for position appears to have made them lose every good sense and decency. However, being conscious of the Nigerian Navy’s responsibilities to the Federal Government, the stakeholders of the University and the general public, it is imperative to set the records straight as follows:

a. The Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN) was established in 2017 as a Public Private Partnership between the NN (represented by Navy Holdings Limited (NHL)) and Hellenic Education Nigeria Limited (HENL). It was issued a provisional license as a private university by National Universities Commission (NUC) on 19 December 2017 and commenced academic activities in January 2019.
Due to irreconcilable differences between the partners, the NHL decided, in the national and public interest, to buy off the interest of HENL and convert it to a public university. By mutual consent, NHL and HENL dissolved the partnership on 21 March 2022 and in December 2022, the National Assembly passed a Bill to convert the University to a conventional public university. This Bill was assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on 8 February 2023 as the Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ibusa (Establishment) Act 2022.

b. The change of status of a university from private to public is not an event but a process involving key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). In furtherance of this process, NHL has caused multiple high-level engagements between the NN and both the Federal Ministries of Education and Defence as well as the NUC.

c. The Federal Ministry of Education has commenced the process of conversion but to date is yet to take the University on strength and the NUC is yet to change its status as a Federal public university.

d. In the meantime, and in deference to Section 38 of the ADUN Establishment Act 2022, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) constituted the Transitional Governing Council (TGC) to govern the University “before the coming into force of the Act”.

e. The NN through the NHL is resourcing the University and with the instrumentality of the Council, management and leadership has nurtured the University to stability.
To On 23 March 2023, the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Omojo Omaji applied for a renewal of his appointment for a further period of 5 years in accordance with his contract. This was in anticipation of the expiration of his tenure on 30 June 2023.

f. The TGC on 14 April 2023 considered this request for contract renewal but turned it down in view of the transition of the University. However, the TGC in its wisdom was unwilling to leave a leadership vacuum in the University. It therefore, in the overall interest of the University, approved a 6-month extension of contract during which time the NHL is to intensify efforts to effect the change of status of the University so that necessary actions and due processes can be taken to appoint a substantive Vice Chancellor. This approval was endorsed by the CNS who is the de-facto Proprietor on 9 June 2023 and re-affirmed by the TGC on 14 June 2023.

g. The University is a law-abiding corporate citizen and a veritable centre for educational excellence. In the last few years, ADUN has been an oasis of academic stability in the milieu of crisis in the university system. Indeed, it celebrated its first convocation in November 2022 after four years of studentship by the pioneer undergraduates.

h. The University is currently in a delicate period of transition being midwifed by the NN through the NHL. This is akin to the transitions of erstwhile military tertiary institutions such as the Nigerian Defence Academy, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna and Nigerian Army University, Biu.

i. The call by the writer of the said report for the intervention of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) to advise President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to appoint a Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar and University Librarian for ADUN is therefore arbitrary and outside the provisions of the ADUN Law 2022.

j. What the University needs at this time is a speedy completion of the processes of takeover by the Federal Ministry of Education and change of status by NUC as well as the constitution of its Governing Council in accordance with Section 9 of the ADUN Establishment Act 2022.

  1. Admiralty University of Nigeria remains committed to providing quality education and contributing to the development of Nigeria’s Maritime Sector. ADUN will not be deterred by baseless and malicious allegations and will continue to work towards the vision of becoming a world-class institution of higher learning, educating luminary leaders. It is absurd that the writer would refer uncharitably to the former President as “not to have given a hoot” to governance and then advise his successor to arbitrarily intervene in a budding tertiary institution against the spirit and letters of its Establishment Law. In summary, the said report revealed the ignorance and unethical tendency of the writer, his sponsors and unpatriotic collaborators.
  2. You are please requested to disseminate to the public.

Director of Information